Once the State’s Program Improvement Plan (PIP) receives Children’s Bureau approval, the State has 2 years to implement it. During this period, all financial penalties that were to be assessed against the State for failure to achieve substantial conformity are put on hold. Using the technical assistance (TA) as defined in its PIP, the State is then responsible for implementing all of the action steps it established to achieve its strategies and for completing the benchmarks it defined to measure its progress.
Over the course of the implementation period, the State is responsible for submitting quarterly progress reports to the Children’s Bureau. These progress reports are part of the ongoing PIP monitoring and evaluation process that enables the State and Children’s Bureau to verify that action steps have been completed and benchmarks are being met in a timely and effective way. At least annually, the Children’s Bureau Regional Office and the State jointly evaluate the State’s progress in implementing the PIP. It is possible for the State and Children’s Bureau to enter into discussion concerning the renegotiation of PIP benchmarks, action steps, and other contents during the implementation period.
If exceptional circumstances arise that delay the completion of the PIP within the 2-year time frame, States may request up to a 1-year extension of the PIP’s completion time. However, granting such an extension is rare and requires that the State submit a written request that provides a compelling reason for the extension, along with supporting documentation. Such an extension request must be received by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) at least 60 days before the approved PIP completion date, and is subject to approval by the Secretary of HHS.
Once the PIP implementation period has been completed, the State may enter a “non-overlapping year” evaluative period. This period provides the State with one additional year of data, after the 2-year PIP implementation period, which can be used for the final evaluation of the successful completion of the PIP measurement plan.